The assault charge against Babylon Town attorney Lindsay Henry, who was accused of injuring his girlfriend in a dispute, was dismissed Thursday in First District Court in Central Islip because, for the third time, the woman did not appear in court.
With the case being dismissed, “there was no determination of whether he was guilty or not,” said Ian Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the case. Henry “retains his presumption of innocence,” Fitzgerald said. He previously told Newsday that continuing to pursue the case would violate Henry’s right to a speedy trial.
Special prosecutors are usually assigned to avoid conflicts of interest. Henry, 55, of Oak Beach, is the son of a former Suffolk County district attorney and the brother of a Suffolk District Court judge.
Henry, a former Babylon Town councilman, pleaded not guilty in September to the misdemeanor third-degree assault charge of recklessly causing physical injury.
“It was the right thing,” Henry’s attorney, William Wexler, said of the dismissal. “There was no case.”
The charge stemmed from an incident in Oak Beach in September during which Henry allegedly threw “a necklace containing a sea-glass pendant, striking [the woman] in the forehead, causing lacerations, swelling, redness, substantial site pain and a headache,” according to the criminal complaint.
With the charge pending, Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer offered Henry, a former town board member, a $50,000-a-year job with benefits as a part-time assistant town attorney for personal injury cases. Henry assumed the post in January, shortly after his last meeting on the Babylon Town Board on Dec. 20.
In February, three congressional candidates called on the town to fire Henry in light of the assault charge. Schaffer cited Henry’s right to due process. One of the candidates, Liuba Grechen Shirley, said Thursday: “I continue to believe that taxpayer funds should not be paid to anyone with open assault cases against them.”
Schaffer said Thursday he hoped that, with the dismissal, Henry and his family “will be able to move forward from this matter.”
Henry was arrested in July in Massachusetts for allegedly assaulting the same woman. That case was dismissed because the woman did not cooperate with prosecutors.